Farm Talk

Crops

June 26, 2012

Ark. hay situation: “Critical Code Blue”

Parsons, Kansas — Phil Sims, Extension staff chair in Pope County for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, had just three words Tuesday for the hay situation in Pope County: “Critical. Code Blue.”

Karen Haralson, a cattle producer in Atkins, backed Sims up, calling the pasture-robbing drought conditions “devastating.”

“The bottom ground in the horseshoe of Point Remove, even it’s brown,” Haralson said. “Everything up top is just crisp. The little bit of nubble that’s left, when you walk on it, it crinkles.”

Monday’s crop report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service said that last “week’s rainfall was enough to prevent a decline in pasture and range conditions but not enough to significantly improve conditions.” Only one percent of pastures were rated excellent; 11 percent were good, 32 percent fair, 35 percent poor and 21 percent very poor.

According to preliminary data from the National Weather Service for Russellville, the Pope County seat, May’s rainfall was 4.67 inches short of normal. April was 1.91 inches down, February was 1.53 inches short and January was 0.43 inches below normal. Only March saw a surplus, of 3.85 inches.

This year’s warm spring enabled many Arkansas hay growers to get an early cutting, but with the lack of rain, that came up short for some.

“My first cutting in the bottom area was about 80 percent and when I cut the meadows outside of the bottoms, I had about 47 percent,” Haralson said.

She has turned the cattle out into her hay meadows and while she’s “not digging into my supply yet, but my hay supply is so small, that if I don’t get some rain by the first of July, I’ll have to start selling cows.”

In Independence County, Don Hubbell, director of the Livestock and Forestry Station for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said “I know that finding hay locally to buy or cut is a real challenge right now.”

“I don’t know of anyone ‘importing’ hay from out of state,” he said. “A lot of barns got cleaned out last winter due to the high hay prices, and producers are trying to fill those barns back up.”

With dry weather a fixture in the forecast, “anyone that can irrigate is, and has been for quite some time,” Hubbell said. “Most of the hay producers that I know along the river are set up to irrigate.”

Hubbell, and Hempstead County Extension Agent Steven Sheets said water levels in area stock ponds were getting low, but not yet dried.

“If this weather pattern keeps up, the ponds won’t be too far behind about drying up,” Hubbell said.

Sheets said growers in his county were grateful for the big rain last week and the pop-up showers since then.

“It’s been pretty challenging. Over the last few days we’ve had some little storms that come through,” he said. “The don’t drop any real rainfall, but do rain for 10-15 minutes, and it cools you down and makes you feel better.

“It’s going to take some more of that before any of the grasses really kick off and start growing,” Sheets said.

To learn more about forage and hay production, contact your county Extension office, or visit www.uaex.edu.

The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.£

1
Text Only
Crops
  • Scientists complete chromosome based draft of wheat genome

    Several Kansas State University researchers were essential in helping scientists assemble a draft of a genetic blueprint of bread wheat, also known as common wheat. The food plant is grown on more than 531 million acres around the world and produces nearly 700 million tons of food each year.
    The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, which also includes faculty at Kansas State University, recently published a chromosome-based draft sequence of wheat's genetic code, which is called a genome. "A chromosome-based draft sequence of the hexaploid bread wheat genome" is one of four papers about the wheat genome that appear in the journal Science.

    July 22, 2014

  • Drought & poor wheat harvest in Kan. has effects on nat’l economy

    The Kansas wheat harvest may be one of the worst on record — and the loss doesn't just hurt Kansas, according to a Kansas State University expert.

    July 15, 2014

  • Watch for corn leaf diseases

    In general, corn in southeast Kansas looks about as healthy as any reasonable producer might hope.

    July 1, 2014

  • Consider wind when applying herbicides

    Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, scouted fields west of Lockwood on June 18 for the crop scouting program.

    June 24, 2014

  • WheatTour-007.jpg SW Mo. wheat tour yields nutrient tips

    Laying down nitrogen on the wheat fields is quite possibly one of the most complex and critical operations facing producers.

    June 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Corn planting nears completion, early condition good

    With corn planting nearly complete and emergence keeping pace with the five-year average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its first forecast for the condition of the 2014 U.S. corn crop.

    June 10, 2014

  • Harvesting short wheat

    In many areas of Kansas, prolonged drought has resulted in short wheat and thin stands. Harvesting wheat in these situations can be a challenge.

    June 3, 2014

  • Controlling large weeds in Roundup Ready soybeans

    Controlling large weeds is often considerably more difficult than controlling smal-ler weeds. The following are some suggestions for controlling larger troublesome weeds in soybeans.

    May 28, 2014

  • aflatoxin-corn.jpg Aflatoxin risk looms large for corn growers

    To diversify their farms and tap into high demand for one of agriculture’s most profitable crops, dryland farmers more familiar with growing wheat and milo are eager to try their hand at corn.

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kan. wheat crop smallest since 1996

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is expected to produce its smallest winter wheat crop since 1996, an indication of a deepening drought across the nation's wheat belt, the government said in its first official forecast of the growing season.

    May 13, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content